Recent Discoveries – Nov 2 to 6

Between Nov 2 and 6 a total of 36 new NEAs have been announced. I say announced rather than discovered because objects may spend anywhere from hours to a few days listed on the Near Earth Object Confirmation Page (NEOCP) before they are officially designated and their orbits published.

The most interesting of the batch are 2 low delta-V objects, 2010 UE51 and 2010 VT21. Delta-V is the change in velocity (read energy used) to leave Earth and match the object’s orbit. The lower the required energy the smaller the launch vehicle needed (or the larger the payload that can be sent) to visit the asteroid. Orbit-wise both objects would be excellent candidates for  a manned or unmanned mission BUT… and there is always a but, both are probably too small. The problem with being too small is that small objects are faint and both objects will probably be lost as they move away from Earth. In fact, 2010 VT21 has not been seen since the day of discovery and is already too faint for most follow-up scopes. Not to mention its current positional uncertainty on the sky already precludes anybody finding it again without a lot of searching. Luckily 2010 UE51 stays bright for a few months this apparition and has been well observed. Still once it fades it will remain to faint for Earth-based observers for the next few decades.

Two new comets were also announced during this time period, C/2010 U3 (Boattini) and C/2010 V1 (Ikeya-Murakami). C/2010 U3 (Boattini) is located at a very distant 18 AU from the Sun (for reference the planet Uranus is located at an average distance of 19.2 AU from the Sun) at a faint 19th magnitude. The current published orbit has perihelion occurring in nearly 9 years on 2019 April 25 at 8.35 AU (just inside Saturn’s orbit). This is assuming the comet is on a parabolic long-period orbit. It is possible that the comet is on a lower eccentricity Centaur or Scattered Disk Object orbit. If this is the case perihelion may not occur till the early 2020’s.

The other comet is a rare (at least nowadays) visual find. I went into more detail on Ikeya-Murakami in a previous post. There is no doubt that this comet experienced a recent outburst in brightness. Based on a number of non-detections, the outburst occurred within a few days of discovery. Its current orbit places it on a parabolic long-period orbit with perihelion at 1.77 AU on Oct 26. A short-period orbit can not be ruled out and may be more likely.

Asteroid   Type   Mag    MOID     a     e     i     H   Discoverer      MPEC
2010 VV21  Amor    20   0.068   2.19  0.52   3.3  22.6  Mount Lemmon    2010-V71
2010 VU21  Apollo  20   0.018   1.69  0.62   5.9  24.6  Mount Lemmon    2010-V70
2010 VT21  Apollo  20   0.027   1.07  0.08   7.2  27.3  Mount Lemmon    2010-V69
2010 VS21  Amor    20   0.101   1.76  0.38   5.3  23.9  Spacewatch      2010-V68
2010 VR21  Apollo  20   0.002   2.34  0.65   0.9  29.0  Mount Lemmon    2010-V67
2010 VQ21  Amor    19   0.102   3.02  0.64   4.8  22.2  Catalina        2010-V66
2010 VP21  Aten    19   0.024   0.72  0.54   8.7  23.4  Mount Lemmon    2010-V65
2010 VO21  Apollo  19   0.006   1.33  0.27   2.0  28.6  LINEAR          2010-V64
2010 VA12  Apollo  19   0.053   1.31  0.85  39.1  19.4  Catalina        2010-V57
2010 VZ11  Apollo  16   0.005   1.11  0.16   4.3  25.3  LINEAR          2010-V55
2010 VU11  Amor    22   0.155   1.53  0.25  16.2  24.8  PANSTARRS       2010-V54
2010 VT11  Apollo  19   0.012   1.77  0.61   2.5  21.3  LINEAR          2010-V53
2010 VO1   Apollo  19   0.020   1.38  0.27  10.0  25.6  Catalina        2010-V50
2010 VN1   Apollo  18   0.0008  1.56  0.45   2.6  28.0  La Sagra        2010-V49
2010 VM1   Amor    22   0.165   2.16  0.47   6.0  20.7  PANSTARRS       2010-V48
2010 VL1   Amor    19   0.322   2.84  0.56  10.5  20.4  Catalina        2010-V45
2010 VJ1   Apollo  20   0.081   1.45  0.36  20.1  24.2  Mount Lemmon    2010-V44
2010 VH1   Apollo  20   0.084   1.17  0.23  37.9  21.3  Mount Lemmon    2010-V43
2010 VG1   Apollo  20   0.078   2.23  0.65  14.7  20.1  Spacewatch      2010-V42
2010 VF1   Apollo  21   0.216   1.22  0.63  20.2  20.7  PANSTARRS       2010-V41
2010 VE1   Amor    21   0.307   2.02  0.37   7.3  19.9  PANSTARRS       2010-V40
2010 VD1   Apollo  21   0.053   2.05  0.53   5.9  22.0  Mount Lemmon    2010-V39
2010 VC1   Apollo  19   0.335   1.16  0.56  21.1  19.3  Catalina        2010-V38
2010 VB1   Apollo  22   0.0006  1.13  0.27   2.6  23.3  Mount Lemmon    2010-V37
2010 VA1   Amor    19   0.093   1.35  0.23  11.7  19.9  Mount Lemmon    2010-V36
2010 VZ    Apollo  20   0.038   2.17  0.54   7.8  19.4  Mount Lemmon    2010-V34
2010 VY    Apollo  20   0.036   2.39  0.62   5.2  24.8  Mount Lemmon    2010-V31
2010 VX    Apollo  21   0.105   1.53  0.36  10.9  23.1  Mount Lemmon    2010-V30
2010 VU    Apollo  21   0.035   1.47  0.35   2.8  25.0  PANSTARRS       2010-V29
2010 VR    Apollo  19   0.045   1.32  0.30  21.3  24.1  Mount Lemmon    2010-V27
2010 VQ    Aten    20   0.001   0.86  0.20   0.4  27.5  Mount Lemmon    2010-V26
2010 VP    Apollo  22   0.027   2.03  0.61   5.3  24.1  PANSTARRS       2010-V25
2010 VO    Amor    21   0.115   1.34  0.19  10.0  24.3  PANSTARRS       2010-V24
2010 VM    Apollo  21   0.086   1.55  0.35  14.1  26.1  Mount Lemmon    2010-V23
2010 VL    Apollo  21   0.046   1.05  0.41  15.6  25.2  Mount Lemmon    2010-V22
2010 UE51  Apollo  19   0.011   1.08  0.08   0.8  28.2  Catalina        2010-V32

Comet       Type       T        q     a     e      i  Mag  Period        MPEC 
C/2010 U3 (Boattini)
            LPC   2019 04 25   8.36        1.00  58.4  19                2010-V55
C/2010 V1 (Ikeya-Murakami)
            LPC?  2010 10 26   1.774       1.00   9.0   7                2010-V46

Type
Aten -  Earth crossing with semi-major axis (avg distance from Sun) < 1 AU
Apollo - Earth crossing with semi-major axis (avg distance from Sun) > 1 AU
Amor - non-Earth crossing with perihelion distance < 1.3 AU
JFC - Jupiter family comet
HFC - Halley family comet
LPC - Long-period comet
MBC - Main belt comet
ECC - Suspected extinct or dormant (or just unrecognized) comet
T - Date of Perihelion
MOID - Minimum Orbit Intercept Distance, minimum distance between asteroid and Earth's orbit
a - semi-major axis, average distance from Sun in AU (1 AU = 93 million miles)
e - eccentricity
i - inclination
H - absolute magnitude
Mag - magnitude at discovery
Discoverer - survey or person who discovered the object
MPEC - Minor Planet Electronic Circular, the discovery announcement

About Carl Hergenrother
I am a professional astronomer specializing in the study of comets, asteroids and meteors. This blog will focus on my professional and amateur work in this field

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